Direct marketing to school children

>> Wednesday, June 29, 2011

A few days ago my sister showed me a set of activity workbook her daughter just bought in school, or perhaps I should use the word ‘paid for’. Her schoolteacher distributed the books to each students, citing, “It’s not compulsory to buy these books. Just take it home today to have a look. If you don’t want to buy it, just bring it back tomorrow (in pristine condition, of course).” This is an ‘opt out’ rather than ‘opt in’ method.

I consider this marketing strategy by the publisher of the books pretty aggressive. I bet the teacher also received some sales commission as an incentive. I disagree with such aggressive marketing method directly targeting children (as opposed to their parents) because young children are naïve and easily manipulated. Another example of similar tactic which I disagree with, is placing sweets, chocolates, and toys at children’s eye level at the cashier. In my opinion, the school administration need to be more sensitive to this issue. Rather than distributing the products to each student, thereby putting the pressure on them to buy, the parties interesting to market their products to children should just be given a booth at the school compound (perhaps someplace where parents can view the products).

Note: The Bahasa Malaysia version of this post is published in my other blog, Mesra Buku. Both areas of my interest happened to overlap in this post :)


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